Last summer, Paul Thieme learned about the power of one. A week of hard work at the the Washington Leadership Conference helped him focus on who he is, what he’s good at and how he could help others. He researched causes that might possibly need his skills, talents and passion.
He discovered Kager, Kenya, where safe water is miles away from the village of 3,000. Securing even a questionable state of safe water is the job of women and their children, who three times a day walk up to four miles for water. Then he found Healing Hands International, an organization that raises money through walkathons to cover costs of drilling community wells in Kenya and a host of other African nations.
“I was inspired. I was called to serve,” said Thieme, a senior FFA member at Hamilton Southeastern High School in central Indiana. “Because I have the ability, I had a responsibility to do something.”
He organized his own walkathon and called on his FFA chapter and fellow students to join the cause. Toward the end of the school year, dozens of students and teachers walked two miles, filled five-gallon buckets with reservoir water and walked back to school with the buckets on their heads. The event raised more than $7,000 for Walk4Water.
WLC is happening now through July 27. This year’s Day of Service each week will feature FFA members packing 400,000 meals of chicken, rice and macaroni and cheese for distribution in the greater D.C. area.
WLC is sponsored by title sponsors Monsanto and CSX and weekly sponsors TransCanada, Crop Production Services and Farm Credit. Each week’s Day of Service is supported by Land O’Lakes, RAM Truck, Elanco, Nationwide Insurance Foundation and Tractor Supply Co.